Collaboration and organization with Moodle’s database activity

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The Database activity in Moodle is a powerful tool for gathering and organizing information. Even better, it’s highly customizable and can be tailored to fit the needs of your course. Below are some ideas for integrating this activity into your course plan.

  • Showcase student projects – Upload pictures, documents, and descriptions of past students’ work for inspiration, or ask current students to upload their work to make peer editing much simpler (Check out Example Database: Old Moodle Themes).
  • Pool resources – Have students upload PDFs, citations, and abstracts of journal articles and other sources to create a group annotated bibliography to aid in researching for final papers. (Check out video below!)
  • Log topics covered in class – Include pages covered from textbook, notes, PowerPoints, and homework assignments so students can keep track of assignments and study aids, and absent students can catch up quickly.
  • Create a classic database of literary works – Have students add titles, themes, and characters of books or movies relevant to class topics (Check out Example Database: Moodle Buzz).
  • Offer a suggestion box and gather student feedback – Allow students to propose changes or ideas for discussion and gauge other students’ agreement by enabling the Ratings and Comments settings.
  • Track characters in a simulation class – Record background information for each character, nation, or player and have students edit the entries to log actions and events as the course progresses.

To create your own Database activity, you’ll set form fields for each piece of data you want to collect and alter templates for viewing entries. Organizing entries is even easier, as you may sort by user, time entered, keyword, or any form field that you create. Through settings for comments and ratings you can create a collaborative tool for students to not only contribute information, but expand on the entries of others. Information entered in most fields (unfortunately, not uploaded documents) can be exported to a spreadsheet and imported into future classes, making it easier to share the efforts of past students.

Templates can be a little tricky, but don’t let that deter you from using this activity in your course. For help with the Database activity, documentation from Moodle or watch the


Image by Flickr user Marino González
/ Creative Commons licensed BY2.0

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